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Opportunities of lignin pyrolysis

Networking through Bioeconomy Austria

From plastics and colourants to pharmaceuticals and aviation fuel: most companies use aromatic hydrocarbons (above all phenols) in their production processes, which today are mainly produced from fossil raw materials (above all crude oil and, to a lesser extent, coal). However, lignin and lignosulphonates, which are obtained from wood in the pulp industry, for example, are also particularly suitable for the production of phenols.

First workshop

In December 2022, experts from the fields of pulp production, the chemical industry and chemical engineering from business and science met in Wr. Neustadt at the invitation of our Lower Austrian hub under the leadership of ecoplus to discuss the utilisation of lignin for material use, especially after pyrolysis.

Manuel Menapace and Nikolaus Schwaiger from Graz University of Technology introduced their literature research on the pyrolysis of lignin. They focused particularly on the qualitative requirements of lignin for the recovery of valuable products (such as phenol, vanillin, or the like) from pyrolysis, especially in pyrolysis oil. The possible raw materials from pulping but also from other industrially established processes (organosolv) were considered in a differentiated manner. The possibility of co-pyrolysis of lignin with LDPE to increase the liquid content in the pyrolysis product met with particular interest.

Subsequently, special fields of interest were explored and a simulated value chain was used as an example to work out which other actors would be relevant for the implementation of effective lignin pyrolysis with subsequent material use.

What happens next?

Together with ecoplus, BioBASE will now look for such further partners and coordinate a follow-up event. Are you interested in this topic? Florian Kamleitner (ecoplus) will be pleased to help you at: f.kamleitner@ecoplus.at.